The operator of the adult dating website AshleyMadison.com was hit with two putative class actions on Aug. 21 as John Doe users of the site filed complaints in California and Texas federal court, respectively, alleging negligence, Stored Communications Act (SCA) violations and other claims related to a recent theft of customer data from the site, which was later released publicly on the Internet (John Doe v. Avid Life Media Inc., et al., No. 2:15-cv-0405, C.D. Calif.; and John Doe v. Avid Life Media Inc., No. 3:15-cv-02750, N.D. Texas).
MADISON, Wis. - Efforts by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) to depose in-house counsel for Apple Inc. and to force Apple's production of certain privileged documents in a patent case were partly granted by a Wisconsin federal judge on Aug. 20 (Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation v. Apple Inc., No. 14-62, W.D. Wis.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110059).
MEDFORD, Ore. - An Oregon federal judge on Aug. 20 awarded $1,029,814 in attorney fees against an insurer in an executive and organization liability insurance coverage dispute (Daryl J. Kollman, et al. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA, No. 04-3106, D. Ore.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109966).
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - A medical doctor's familiarity with different fibers qualifies him to testify as an expert in an asbestos case, and Illinois precedent does not bar him even if he plans on testifying that every exposure to asbestos leads to disease, a federal judge in Illinois held Aug. 20 (Charles Neureuther v. Atlas Copco Compressors LLC, et al., No. 13-1327, S.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108782).
LOS ANGELES - An asbestos defendant's proposal that liability be used to calculate offsets for pre-verdict settlements "is completely at odds" with state precedent, a California appeals panel held Aug. 20 in also affirming 50-50 split of asbestos settlement proceeds between personal injury and any future wrongful death action and denying offsets for potential asbestos bankruptcy recoveries (James Hellam v. Crane Co., No. A140326, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 4; 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 720).
PARIS - A tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Aug. 19 announced that it will soon hold a hearing on preliminary objections asserted by the Republic of Peru to a treaty dispute filed against it, including arguments that the tribunal lacks jurisdiction (The Renco Group, Inc. v. Republic of Peru, No. [UNCT/13/1], ICSID).
TORONTO - A Canadian resource company on Aug. 19 issued a response to a recent filing by the government of Mongolia in a French appeals court, seeking to annul a $100 million award issued by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA).
ATLANTA - Asserting that they suffered a "quintessential injury-in-fact" from the costs associated with fraudulent charges that sprang from their customers' credit card information being compromised in a 2014 data breach at The Home Depot Inc., a group of financial institutions on Aug. 19 opposed a motion in Georgia federal court by the home improvement retail giant to dismiss their negligence claims against it (In re: The Home Depot Inc., Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 1:14-md-02583, N.D. Ga.).
MINNEAPOLIS - In a memorandum that was unsealed in redacted form on Aug. 20, a group of banks and financial institutions (FIs) supported their motion for class certification of their negligence claims against Target Corp. related to a 2013 data breach, arguing that common issues of fact would apply to all potential class members (In re: Target Corporation Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 0:14-md-02522, D. Minn.).
SAN ANTONIO - A trial judge erred in granting summary judgment to The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. on negligent and defective design claims in a products liability case, a Texas appeals panel ruled Aug. 19, finding that the judge also erred in excluding the testimony of a tire expert that served to show support for the claims (Rosa Obregon Perez, et al. v. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., No. 04-14-00620, Texas App., 4th Dist.; 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 8689).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 19 affirmed the conviction of a man for the sexual abuse of minors, finding that an expert's testimony was reliable and helpful to the jury (United States of America v. Billy Charley Young, No. 14-10160, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14559).
YOLO, Calif. - An arbitrator will decide if armed security guards who allege that they were not properly reimbursed by their employer for equipment and training may proceed with their class claims or must arbitrate their claims individually, a California appellate panel ruled Aug. 18 (Universal Protection Service, LP, et al. v. The Superior Court of Yolo County, No. C078557, Calif. App., 3rd Dist.; 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 708).
SAN FRANCISCO - An arbitration policy distributed to employees of an aviation support company after a wage-and-hour class complaint was already filed is unenforceable against the members of the class because there was insufficient communication regarding its impact and no clear opt-out opportunities, a California federal judge ruled Aug. 17 (Jessica Jimenez, et al. v. Menzies Aviation Inc., et al., No. 15-2392, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108223).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Following a ruling that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) improperly obtained evidence from a Korean businessman's laptop without a search warrant, a District of Columbia federal judge on Aug. 18 granted the government's motion to dismiss its indictment against him (United States of America v. Jae Shik Kim, et al., No. 1:13-cr-00100, D. D.C.).
FRESNO, Calif. - Since a proposed class action in which purchasers asserting violations of California's unfair competition law in relation to allegedly defective styling irons is still in the pre-class stage, a California federal judge on Aug. 17 denied the plaintiffs' motion to compel additional discovery on the irons (Delia Wilson, on behalf of herself and others similarly situated, v. Conair Corp., No. 1:14-cv-00894, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109030).
ST. LOUIS - A vocational rehabilitation specialist and a nurse case manager are permitted to testify in a personal injury lawsuit on the plaintiff's future employability and a preliminary life care plan (LCP), a Missouri federal judge ruled Aug. 17 (William A. Sorrells v. ADT, LLC, No. 14-00378, E.D. Mo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107622).
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri federal magistrate judge on Aug. 18 ruled to allow various experts to testify in a strict product liability lawsuit against General Motors LLC (GM) arising from a vehicle roll-over and roof collapse (Michael Bavlsik, M.D. and Kathleen Skelly v. General Motors LLC, No. 13-509, E.D. Mo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108614).
NEW YORK - An expert cannot testify on the proper amount of damages due to Bank of New York Mellon (BoNY) based on agreements concerning residential mortgage-backed securities, a New York federal judge ruled Aug. 18, finding that the agreements provide a formula for recovery before and after liquidation of a loan (The Bank of New York Mellon, solely as Trustee for GE-WMC Mortgage Securities Trust 2006-1 v. WMC Mortgage, LLC and GE Mortgage Holding, LLC, No. 12-7096, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108320).
NEW YORK - Individuals who volunteered at Major League Baseball's FanFest are exempt from receiving wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 14 (John Chen, et al. v. Major League Baseball Properties, Inc., et al., No. 14-1315, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14275).
BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal judge on Aug. 14 dismissed a consumer's class suit that alleged that a discount clothing retailer wrongly listed false "Compare At" prices on its labels to lead consumers to believe that they were saving more money, finding that the complaint failed to allege a legally cognizable injury (Judith Shaulis v. Nordstrom Inc., d/b/a Nordstrom Rack, No. 15-10326, D. Mass.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107293).
LAS VEGAS - A Nevada federal judge on Aug. 13 denied preliminary approval of a $450,000 settlement in a wage dispute brought by a class of casino workers, finding that the motion for approval failed to assert final certification of the two collective action groups and also failed to provide the court with enough information to determine if the proposed settlement is fair and reasonable (Craig Gamble, et al. v. Boyd Gaming Corporation, Nos. 13-1009, 13-1043 and 13-1801, D. Nev.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107279).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Aug. 13 dismissed with prejudice a class complaint filed by two consumers alleging misleading juice labeling, finding the plaintiffs' state law claims preempted by federal law (Andrew E. Stansfield, et al. v. The Minute Maid Company, et al., No. 14-290, N.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106656).
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Although a judge erroneously permitted evidence of a preliminary breath test and a marijuana field test, an Alaska appeals panel on Aug. 14 affirmed the convictions against an Alaska resident for felony driving under the influence, driving while his license was revoked and sixth-degree controlled substance misconduct (George W. Lewis v. State of Alaska, No. 2468, Alaska App.; 2015 Alas. App. LEXIS 134).
RENO, Nev. - A Nevada federal judge on Aug. 14 denied an insurer's motion to preclude expert testimony from two witnesses because the witnesses may help the jury to decide whether the insurer reasonably interpreted the policy's total pollution exclusion and the indoor air quality exclusion as not covering a carbon monoxide leak (Century Surety Company v. Casino West, Inc., No. 07-636, D. Nev.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107283).
SEATTLE - A federal judge in Washington state on Aug. 13 remanded to state court a groundwater contamination case brought by a class of residents who contend that The Boeing Co. and a contractor are liable for negligence in their efforts to remediate groundwater contamination, ruling that the "local controversy" exception to federal class action law applied (Jocelyn Allen, et al. v. The Boeing Company, et al., No. 14-0596, W.D. Wash.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107482).